« PreviousContinue »
Advantages of it to themselves, under a new Turn of Affairs.
When that happened, New Occasions also of serving the Church offered themselves to Your Lordship, which You as readily embraced. The Fatherly Vigilance, and Exemplary Firminess, you then shewed, in frustrating the Methods made Use of to perpetuate Schism, by unauthorized Schools and Seminaries, were observed with Pleasure, and owned with Thanks by All that wished well to our Establishment. Nor could they, who wished ill to it, justly blame an Endeavour of securing to the Ordinary that Power, which he always enjoyed, and of which he is not yet divested; and of confining a Legal Indulgence within the Bounds
prescribed by that Law, which gave Birth to it.
Shall I take notice here, of the Seasonable and Liberal Encouragements You reached out to a Worthy Presbyter of this Church, who repressed the bold Attempts of Se&taries by his Learned and Accurate Writings? It may, I think, become me to mention even this particular Act of Your Bounty, fince it had a General Aim and Influence, and was not terminated in the Person, how deserving soever, but in the Righteous Cause which he espoused; and which as Your LORDSHIP's fixed Judgment leads You, by all Lawful Means to sup
your Temper inclines You rather to promote by Rewards than Punishments.
The Fears of Popery were scarce removed, when Heresy began to diffufe its Venom; and the sacred Mysteries of our Faith were, after
a daring and petulant manner, exposed to public Scorn, even in one of those famous Seats of Knowledge, which then were, and still are, the chief Bulwarks of true Religion. It pleased God, that You were now poffeffed of a See, which gave You Power to Visit and Correct such Enormities; and You exerted that Power with Zeal and Vigour; driving out from the Schools of Learning a Disciple of Arius, who had all the Craft and Obstinacy of his Master, and the Good-luck, for some time, to be as well Supported. The Prosecuting of this
Cause was attended with so many Difficulties, as would have shaken a Resolution less firm than Your Lordship’s. But the Discharge of Your great Trust, and the Maintenance of God's Trust, were the Springs which had set You on work;
and They who act upon such Principles, can never be discouraged.
The Issue of that memorable Struggle, as it was of great Advantage to the Church, and the Universities, in Other Respects, so particularly in This, that it fixed the Power of Visitors (not till then acknowledged Final) upon the sure Foundation of a Judgment in Parliament; and by that means, made fo effectual a Provision for the future Quiet of those Learned Bodies, as may be reckoned equal to thc greatest Benefactions.
This, and another Parliamentary Decision, which Your LORDSHIP, not long after, with equal Difficulty, obtained ; and by which the Bishops fole Right to judge of the Qualifications of Persons applying for Institution, was unalterably confirmed; are such Instances of Your
Magnanimity, and Public Spirit, as will remain in Memory, while the Church or the Law of England lasts. For they were not Temporary Services, to be made use of, and talked of for a while, and then forgotten ; but (as the Historian truly faid of his own Writings) Perpetual Acquisitions, laid up for the Benefit of succeeding Ages. And He who contends for Common Rights, with Lower Aims than these, means not the Constitution, but Himself; and deserves not the Applause even of his own Times, when he is not disinterested enough to look beyond them,
It was the sense of these Important Services, already done by Your Lordship, that occafioned a general Joy among good Men, when they heard of Your intended Translation to the See of Winchester.